How much does interrailing cost?

If you’d like to explore a lot of different countries on a budget, you might have asked yourself the question ‘How much does interrailing cost?’‍Since its inception in the early 1970s, Interrailing has been a popular way to see the sights of Europe for less than the cost of taking flights or paying for lots of separate train tickets. ‍When you buy an interrail pass, you have an ‘all-in-one’ ticket that allows you to travel on trains within 33 countries in Europe without having to buy separate tickets.‍
Mathew Megens
May 1, 2024
min read

If you’d like to explore a lot of different countries on a budget, you might have asked yourself the question ‘How much does interrailing cost?’

Since its inception in the early 1970s, Interrailing has been a popular way to see the sights of Europe for less than the cost of taking flights or paying for lots of separate train tickets. 

When you buy an interrail pass, you have an ‘all-in-one’ ticket that allows you to travel on trains within 33 countries in Europe without having to buy separate tickets.

In this blog post, we’ll explore different interrailing pass options and discuss how these affect the overall price, plus look at the cost of accommodation and food that you might need along the way. Then we’ll talk about the best ways to organise your money to save up for a trip using HyperJar, putting aside different amounts for different aspects of the trip.

What is interrailing?

Interrailing is a travel concept that allows you to explore Europe by train using a single pass - the Interrail Pass. This pass grants you unlimited train travel across 33 European countries, offering flexibility in planning your dream itinerary. Imagine hopping off a train in bustling Paris, then winding your way through the Swiss countryside before indulging in the gondola rides of Venice. With an Interrail Pass, your European adventure is entirely up to you!

You don’t even have to explore multiple different countries. In fact, if you only want to see Spain or France, for example, you could use your Interrail Pass to take multiple trips within the same country. These single country passes are cheaper than the global passes that allow cross-country travel. 

Before you choose a pass suitable for your needs, you need to know that Interrailing works with a system of "travel days" instead of a set number of total travel days. Here's the breakdown:

  • Travel Days: These are 24-hour periods (from midnight to midnight) where you can take unlimited train journeys within the countries covered by your Interrail Pass.
  • Pass Options: You choose a pass based on travel days and validity period. Options include continuous passes (e.g., 1 Month Continuous Pass) where every day is a travel day, or flexible passes (e.g., 7 days in 1 month Pass) where you pick specific days within a validity period to use as travel days.

How much does interrailing cost?

Want to know how much money to take interrailing to cover the cost of passes? One of the best things about interrailing is that there are options for all budgets

The cheapest passes are the one-country passes where you can explore one chosen country. You could explore all of France, Germany, Switzerland (or another country of your choice) from €144 and that includes three travel days. To add on an extra travel day to fit in another region is only €26, bringing the cost up to €170.

If you’d like to cover more countries in Europe, a global pass starts at € 212 for four travel days. This includes travel between multiple different countries. Whether you want to chase sunsets in Portugal, savour gelato in Italy or admire dramatic landscapes from the train window, the Interrail Global Pass makes a multi-destination adventure more affordable than ever. Adding on more travel days so you can make different memories and explore different cultures is very reasonable with 10 travel days valid for two months costing €335.

If you’re under 27, you can take 25% off all of these prices (and the price of all other passes) by buying an interrail youth pass.

All the options can be found on the interrail website, so you can plan in advance. Knowing how much your pass costs will help you save up for it.

The cost of accommodation when interrailing

Accommodation can be a significant chunk of your budget when interrailing through Europe. Hostels are generally the most affordable option, with dorm beds ranging from €20 to €50 per night depending on the location and season. They’re also a great way to meet other travellers, some of whom might have a similar itinerary to yours.

However, hostels aren’t the only way to keep costs down. Browsing or Trivago could bring up cheap hotels or apartments. You could also search for rooms on AirBnB, with prices for rooms in someone’s house often lower than private apartments, and you’ll get to meet new people too. Going in good weather conditions? Camping is another way to keep costs down.

While some flexibility is good for a spontaneous adventure, it's wise to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak season. Pre-booking not only guarantees a bed in a popular city, but it can also lead to significant savings. Many hostels and hotels offer discounts for advanced bookings, so a little planning can go a long way in stretching your travel euros further.

Planning can also help you save money on accommodation entirely. Taking long overnight journeys on the train means you can sleep on the move and not have to pay for separate accommodation for that night.

What do you need to pack before interrailing?

Packing light is key for a smooth interrailing adventure. While small suitcases can work if they fit overhead storage on trains, a large backpack offers more flexibility, especially when navigating busy stations. 

Opt for a size around 50-70 litres to comfortably hold your essentials. Remember, the more you pack, the less space you'll have for souvenirs and mementos. Focus on versatile clothing you can mix and match, and pack for the weather across your destinations. Consider using packing cubes to organise your belongings and maximise space within your backpack and help you locate what you need easily.

Don’t forget your toothbrush, hairbrush, painkillers and a first aid kit. Often these are more expensive abroad, so you’ll save money by packing essentials rather than buying them on the trip. If you do get caught out, make sure you’re fully away of exchange rates before you get to the tills, to avoid getting ripped off.

How to save up for interrailing

Ideally, you want to leave a little time before deciding you want to go on a trip and actually going on it so that you have more time to save up. The longer you have to save up, the less you have to set aside each month so it won’t feel like too much of your monthly budget is going towards it. 

However, if that’s not possible you need to work backwards. Calculate how much you need to spend on interrail passes, food and accommodation and how many months you have to save and give yourself monthly savings targets. You can use the Hyperjar app to create a jar for interrailing and set a savings goal.

If it doesn’t look like you can set aside this amount, taking into consideration other monthly outgoings, it gives you motivation to take on part time jobs or up the side hustle so you can afford the trip. Also, have a read of this money-saving hacks blog post to see if you can reduce your monthly outgoings and have more to put towards Interrailing.

Most interrailers travel with friends or a partner. If that’s you, HyperJar is a great way to save up and spend together. When you create a shared jar - think of it like a WhatsApp group for money - you can all pay into it ahead of your trip. Send messages to others in the jar nudging other sharers for top-ups, make trip suggestions or just gee people up to reach the jar goal. Seeing others pay in and the £££ go up makes it more likely you’ll get to your target, and builds excitement for the upcoming trip. When you arrive, you can all spend from the same jar using your HyperJar cards.

Closer to the time of the trip, use HyperJar to keep organised. It’s easy to overspend when you’re abroad and having a good time, but you can use HyperJar to create different jars to cover different elements of the trip. Link your HyperJar card to the jar you want to spend from - when you know what jar is emptying each time you use your card, it will help you question whether you really need those items!

You could use the Hyperjar app to create a jar for each country that you plan to visit. This will help maintain a budget over a whole trip.  Alternatively, if you are just travelling in one country, then you can create a jar dedicated to each city you plan to visit. Or another option would be to create a jar for each cost, for example, a jar for accommodation, one for food, and one for activities so you can see where you are spending too much money and might need to find a cheaper alternative. 

How to spend money when Interrailing

When you’re keeping costs down by Interrailing, the last thing you want to do is pay extra each time you spend abroad using a card. For this reason, the HyperJar card will be one of the best things you take with you on the trip. They don’t add any FX fees and you get a competitive exchange rate, saving you money each time you buy something vs. cards that do charge.

You can also link jars directly to the card, paying for passes through one jar and food from another.

If you’ve set up a shared jar, you can all spend directly from that jar. The app will show you who’s spent what, so you can make sure it’s all being used in the way it’s intended. 

Continue reading

If you like reading about ways to save money, holidays and how to make your money go further when you’re abroad, we have some other blog posts you might be interested in.

We recommend:

How to travel with a low budget

How to plan your holiday budget

Best ways to spend money abroad


Mathew Megens

Co-Founder of HyperJar

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